President Trump Pardons Susan B Anthony! This might sound like a strange headline, but on the historic 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, President Trump gave an official pardon to one of the most notable and honorable ringleaders of the women’s suffrage movement, Susan B. Anthony. As a member of the Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission, Concerned Women for America’s (CWA) CEO and President Penny Nance stood front and center as the President signed a Presidential Proclamation honoring the 100th Anniversary of the Ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment and announced that he will grant a full and complete pardon for Susan B. Anthony.
A statement from the White House Press Secretary marking the August 18 anniversary offered a lesson in history paying tribute to “the advocacy, perseverance, and leadership of a truly remarkable woman and an American hero:”
On November 5, 1872, Susan B. Anthony, after having been permitted to register to vote, entered a polling location in Rochester, New York, and cast a straight ticket Republican ballot. Two months later, a grand jury in Albany, New York, returned an indictment against her for having voted illegally. At the onset of her trial in June 1873, and in clear violation of her rights to trial by jury and due process, she was convicted by way of a directed verdict issued by the presiding judge—Supreme Court Justice Ward Hunt. During the trial, Justice Hunt stated that “the voting by Miss Anthony was in violation of the law.” After not being permitted to testify on her own behalf, she was finally given the opportunity to speak on the last day of trial. In the most famous speech in the women’s suffrage movement, Susan B. Anthony aggressively defended a citizen’s right to vote and compared the denial of such a right to the denial of “sacred rights to life, liberty, property.” Justice Hunt then directed the jury to return a guilty verdict and imposed a $100 fine on Susan B. Anthony as her sentence. Although the suffragette steadfastly refused to pay the unjust fine, Justice Hunt did not have her imprisoned, preventing her from appealing her sentence to a higher court.
Susan B. Anthony’s conviction under the law served to inspire millions of women in her generation and the decades to follow to stand with conviction and purpose for a cause greater than herself. Let us embrace her example in this election as we seek the Lord in prayer for our nation and go to the polls in November. Our right to vote should never be taken for granted.